Sweden's Pain of Salvation represents a consortium of progressive/metal rockers who seemingly enjoy the "concept album" format. This 2000 release, titled The Perfect Element I, signifies the band's follow-up to its 1999 effort One Hour By the Concrete Lake. Here, the group effectively melds relatively strong compositions with pertinent injections of technical proficiency and shrewdly crafted rhythmic developments. However, in most instances, the musicians infuse raucous heavy metal type licks with '70s-style progressive rock, as they perhaps intimate the best of both idioms via resplendent imagery, driving beats, and crunching guitars along with a penchant for fabricating memorable melodies. Lead vocalist/guitarist Daniel Gildenlow often toggles his wares between gruff, dark intonations and harmonious or infectious lyricism. Hence, the singer's dual approach instills a bit of a paradox, as the overall demeanor of this band seemingly fluctuates on a moment's notice. However, The Perfect Element I is a reasonably stylish effort -- one that should extend the musicians' current fan base.
AllMusic Review by Glenn Astarita